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Hall of Valor Honors and American Legion Awards       


Held at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall

By Paula Green

Two significant military awards ceremonies were recently held in our area. On April 6, the prestigious Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum hosted their annual Joseph A. Dugan, Jr. Hall of Valor induction ceremony. This esteemed program, which recognizes Pennsylvania veterans who have displayed exceptional bravery and heroism during times of military conflict, saw the induction of six heroes this year. The honorees from the 2024 class include three US Army veterans and three US Army Air Force veterans.

The inductees were US Army servicemen – Private Clark Hazlett from World War I, Chief Warrant Officer 2 William Koshar from the Vietnam War, and Sergeant Elmer Reese from World War II. The US Army Air Forces veterans inducted were from World War II: Lt. Colonel Joseph DeChicchis and Technical Sergeant Leonard Staniszewski. Colonel John Hinds from the Vietnam War was also a part of the 2024 class.

Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum has inducted over 700 veterans into the Joseph A. Dugan, Jr. Hall of Valor since 1963, when the Hall of Valor was dedicated to the military history museum. 

At the other military awards ceremony held in April at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, our local community celebrated three outstanding Pine-Richland/Mars Area US Air Force JROTC program members. Junior Abby Hagen was honored with the General Military Excellence Award, senior Reva Kalbhor received an Academic Excellence Award, and junior Dylan Weitzell was recognized with a Scholastic Excellence Award. The trio also demonstrated their skills as members of a nine-person color guard.

These annual awards are presented to outstanding cadets who have demonstrated general military and academic excellence through leadership, discipline, character, and citizenship. Nominees are honored in several categories, including academics, athletics, and music. The student’s instructor is Chief Michael Gasparetto.

Northern Connection magazine extends its highest respects to the six Hall of Valors inductees, and we extend our warmest congratulations to the three JROTC students on their well-deserved awards. We are grateful for your service to our country!




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